Computer generated image of The Keep © F10 Studios
The Keep will be a new state-of-the-art historical resource centre based near Falmer, East Sussex.
It will provide a home for all the archives and historical resources of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, and the Special Collections of the University of Sussex, including the internationally renowned Mass Observation Archive.
The building will also include the library and headquarters of the Sussex Family History Group. This group aims to encourage people to study family history and genealogy and to preserve and publish relevant documents.
What type of archives and resources will be held there?
The Keep will house over six miles of archives and historical resources dating back over 900 years.
These records document the lives of individuals, places and events from across the community, including:
- written records
- maps and plans
- photographs and films
- prints and drawings
- oral histories
- digital and electronic records
- local, national and international collections.
Map of Ticehurst and Etchingham, East Sussex Record Office
The Bloomsbury Archives, University of Sussex
West Pier, Brighton & Hove Museums photographic collections
Who can use The Keep?
The Keep will be a vibrant community resource and research facility where visitors can access all of these collections under one roof for the first time.
The new building will be open to anyone who wants to use the public search rooms and facilities.
We also want to encourage learning and participation across all ages and every part of the community, including:
- Schools, colleges and universities
- Community groups and local organisations.
Archives to Art project 2007, William Parker School Hastings
Sussex Family History Group event
Rooms and facilities
Public search rooms and research facilities will be available for all visitors to use. These facilities will include:
- Repository block – built to house over six miles of archives with space for future collections. The temperature and other conditions have to be just right to preserve the collections perfectly.
- Public search rooms and group research areas – for anyone wanting to research and explore the collections.
- Learning and multifunction rooms – for school classes, student groups and adult learners to engage in interactive and creative learning with archives. These rooms can also be opened out to host a wide range of community activities, including workshops and events for up to 150 people.
- Oral history recording room – to record and preserve the memories and stories of life, people and events from the past.
- Staff facilities – including a conservation workshop and a digitisation suite. These will let staff preserve and provide hands-on and online access to the collections.
- Space to work with staff – for volunteers, students and community groups to work with staff and learn new skills to help preserve the archives.
- Electronic preservation facilities – equipment and facilities to preserve electronic archives and digital media.
- Café area – situated on the ground floor, visitors can buy, or bring their own, food and drink.
Maps, plans and illustrations
Download maps and proposed floorplans of the layout for The Keep: